Friday, 11 April 2014

Outlandish week

Canny Caitriots!

Well thanks to Outlander I'm getting to see parts of my beautiful country that I've always wanted to see and some bits I'd passed for years without noticing.  

For instance on Wednesday 2nd April, I drove up the A9 for the first time which was not as daunting as I thought it would be however  I was slightly disturbed by the man drying his underwear at the side of the road. I've since found out he's been there since last summer! (They must have been really wet! ;)

I was wearing my newly acquired Caitriots t-shirt and heading to Newtonmore to meet up with some lovely Outlander fans with the hope of seeing some filming and to chat to our chums in the security and crew. I've been getting to know them both face to face and on Twitter.  I met Sinéad, Joni and Lisa who'd all come from Inverness and we were planning to meet up with Simone, Stephenie, Tasha and Emma a little later (they were driving up from Stirling).

We knew they'd been filming in the Highland Folk Museum but on arrival we found they'd moved on. We decided to head to Aviemore with hopes of finding a clue and on the way spotted some pink location signs. We followed them down a forest path and eventually came across our old friend Gary1 (@gmcmason2003) who I first met in Doune (and since seen at Culross and Blackness). He stopped us and explained we'd have to park somewhere back up the track and walk back down.  We understood completely and found an area that didn't block the road. 

Now it has somehow become a tradition (I look at Stephenie) to bring some home baking to the set when we visit. It started with Emma and Elaine bringing sweeties for the security at Doune and Steph started making whisky fudge. Since then we've all started to bring baking (I've never been a baker but I'm learning!) and this day I'd brought some rock buns. When we got out of the car and opened the boot to get Joni's baking out I couldn't believe my eyes! Big trays all covered in foil and clearly labelled. Even more impressive, gluten free! 

Weighed down we walked down the forest path to chat to Gary1. We took care not to make too much noise in case filming was near by but we were told it was OK.  As soon as we got there Gary1 explained that today we'd have to stay where we were and maybe we'd see people heading back to the camp. He kindly got a sheet out the back of his car and we settled down in the glorious sunshine that had broken through the clouds. The views were spectacular. 

Other visitors to the area had come to hike and were doing so in the background and near where they were filming.  There's also a right to roam law in Scotland and we often joke with security, "what would you do if...".  Let me stress joke.  We are there as fans of the show and have no intention whatsoever in disrupting any filming or preparation.  We listened to what Gary1 said and stayed put, happy to chat to him and other crew that were hanging around.  There was even a crew dog that took quite an interest in the baking!

While waiting for the Stirling carload to find us we shared some of the baking with the gathered crew including Kenny (@d67twitt), one of the drivers. It turned out the Stirling car had taken a wrong turning and they were slightly lost.  Just as I was sending a text saying that we couldn't see anything and not to worry, a Land Rover drove past with Cait in the front. I smiled as she turned to see the strange image of us picnicking at the side of the road, surrounded by foil covered platters among the heather.  Cait was taken down to her trailer for lunch and as it turned out a costume change.

About ten minutes after that the Stirling crew arrived.  It turned out they bumped into a journalist along the way, had their photos taken and were interviewed!  The ladies had also brought some baking so we asked the guys if they'd take it down for us which which they kindly did.  Not long after Matt and Maril came up from the camp and stopped the 4x4 and jumped out.  They always wonder how we find them (answer: Outlander underground network of spies!) and thanked us for the support and the goodies.  Matt then took a picture of Maril and the group of us together.  Who knows maybe one day it'll appear on Matt's "photo of the day".  There were more smiles and thanks as they explained it was a tight schedule today and head to head back to the set.

A while after that and Cait's 4x4 came up the road and she too got out to thank us.  I have to admit to being a little giddy as I'd hoped to see or meet her from the start.  She got out of the car and pointed to Sinéad and I saying she liked the t-shirts.  She gave Sinéad a big hug and asked her which part of Ireland she was from.  I also got a hug and she turned and thanked all of us for the baking, especially the glutten free banoffee cakes that Joni had made.

Brief aside to describe what I can remember of the outfit.  It was a dress (full length) made from a woven material with greens, browns and a think a fleck of yellow through it.  It was predominately green.  The top half almost looked like a separate jacket and came to two sharp points below the waistline.  Her hair had been changed from a bun to quite tight ringlets.  The curls weren't brushed out.  They really bounced!  I think she was also wearing a head band of some sort but I was actually too close to see! ;)

Cait chatted to us briefly and jumped back into the car to leave.  Just as Sinéad and I turned to go back to the picnic area I realised we'd forgotten to ask if we could get our magazines signed.  I mimed the signing to Cait and she shouted we'd have to be quick.  We grabbed them and ran over.  She was lovely and signed them then headed off to set.  What a lovely lady.  (Yes I'm still giddy!)

As we'd failed to bring any lunch, we all decided to head back into Aviemore to get something to eat.  We found the base camp at the place we'd decided to eat and chatted to the security there for a while (I think they even got some baking that was leftover! ;) after we'd had lunch and then headed our separate ways back down the road.

The weather was lovely, the views spectacular and the company fabulous!

Some Tweets from the day:

Fiendish Fifers!

And so it did occur that pink signs were spotted in Fife not far from Baxters shop and once more the Outlandish Bakers took up their beaters, broke some eggs and got baking!

Another holiday off work and another road trip.  This time I was picking up Steph and Jennifer (over on holiday from Canada) at the railway station and meeting Simone, Nicki, Karin, Lisa, Wendy and Audrey at the Baxters shop.

Turns out the Baxters shop was base camp.  When we arrived we went over and spoke to Gary2 and Greig.  Of course they were handed some baking for them and the themselves and the drivers.  They let us know that Gary1 was at the Extras location and that we could follow the signs and see how far we got.  So we did.  We headed up a country road and found Mystery Security man (some say his name is Homer, this is unconfirmed) and spoke to him.  He was unsure whether we were able to go any further and radioed up to the site to check.  He was told as it was private land we weren't allowed any further.  Not so lucky today then.  We understood the situation, offered him some baking (he refused, so I doubt his name is Homer!) and headed back to base camp.  

On route we decided to pop in and see Gary1 at the extras camp.  It was only a 4 mile detour after all.  He was happy to see us as it wasn't the most exciting place to guard once everyone had left.  We introduced him to Nicki and Jennifer and he warned them of our antics and regaled them of our shenanigans at Blackness.  (We nearly got caught by the tide while playing on the rocks!).  Realising that Lisa and Wendy were at Baxters and waiting to see us, we left some more baking with Gary1 and headed back.

We met Lisa and Wendy sadly just as they were leaving.  They'd also brought baking and with us handed it over to Greig and Gary2 and asked if they'd see the cast and crew got some.  We then had lunch in the Baxters restaurant. Just as we were finishing Karin arrived. Mr Tumbledrierfixer never turned up. 

After lunch we headed back out into the rain (did I mention the rain?) and met Audrey who asked what the state of play was and we explained that it was a day of chatting to the crew, as the filming was out of bounds (it usually is tbh!).  It should be pointed out that Jennifer, Nicki, Karin and Audrey hadn't ever been to the set before and some of us had met before but it was lovely to see new faces.  Brave ladies!  As always we get on and have a lovely time. 

We stuck around a while longer and chatted to the drivers including Kenny.  We told him of our plan to create a recipe book for charity and asked him which charity the drivers would like to nominate.  He had some ideas and will let us know.

As the weather wasn't great and some of us had to get back (esp. Steph!) we departed mid-afternoon bidding fond farewells to the crew.

Some Tweets from the day:

Please note:

Understandably some fans are concerned that we are disrupting the production and are an unwanted intrusion.  We always approach the security first and ask them what the state of play is for the day.  We take our guidance from them.  We sit patiently and if we do spy a cast member we might smile or if overcome with emotion, wave.  I've included the quotes of the Tweets from the day not to brag but to point out that the baking and treats are welcomed and appreciated. 

I've been so impressed with the Outlander fandom's foresight to make something positive out of the joint love shared of the Outlander world and raise money for charity. As mentioned above we are hoping to continue in that spirit and will be announcing the recipe book and perhaps more soon. We share our experiences as we know so many are interested in what is going on. 

We are always aware that one silly misbehaviour could ruin it for others.  Please be assured should we ever be asked to leave or stop turning up, as disappointed as we would be, we would. Meanwhile please get sending in your recipes and tune in for the next adventures of the Outlandish Bakers!  Where shall we meet again?  Who knows but what I do know is that no matter the weather, there will be smiles, fun, and of course baking!